Capitalism will be the topic of discussion as Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies hosts its upcoming biannual Religious Studies Colloquium.
This semester’s colloquium will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Academic Classroom Building, room 106 at 1751 MTSU Blvd. It is free and open to the public.
Guest speaker Jeremy Posadas, Hal S. Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility and associate professor of Religious Studies and Gender Studies at Stetson University in Central Florida, will present on “Capitalism as a Moral Code.”
Posadas’ presentation will focus on one aspect of capitalism as a religion: “Capitalism as a code of moral prescriptions about how humans ought to relate to one another and to Earth as we seek to stay alive.” He will then offer an alternative code that can “re-root the human web of care within Earth’s web of life.”
“MTSU’s Religious Studies Program has received international recognition for its innovative design,” said Rebekka King, coordinator of the event and professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
“Dr. Posadas is someone who is very much respected in the academic study of religion and does this inspiring work on religion as ideology and as moral code, so we thought MTSU could benefit from both.”
With over a decade of experience in academia, Posadas’ experience extends beyond academia to activism for worker justice and LGBT/queer justice.
“We want to expose students to cutting-edge scholarship and research topics that are not our areas of expertise, so they learn about any part of the field,” said King. “What I love about him is he has experience as a community activist and organizer that I think will be inspiring to our students.”
Student looks forward to the event
Nethaniel Belmont is a senior with a religious studies and philosophy double major and a social and political thought minor. Belmont is president of the Religious Studies Association and the Philosophy Club. Both student organizations focus on building community outside the classroom and hosting student engagement activities.
“First and foremost, I think this is brilliant. It’s very different from what you would expect from a Religious Studies talk,” said Belmont. “I think it will spark conversation about what religion is.”
Belmont said he looks forward to the lecture and hopes other students will attend.
Faculty workshops to follow
On Friday, Posadas will facilitate a workshop on “Being Responsible Community Partners” for two MTSU Faculty Working Groups coordinated through Monica Smith, assistant to the president for community engagement and inclusion.
“MTSU is intentionally trying to think about our place in the community and how we can partner with our community organizations,” said King.
King facilitates the Engaged Pedagogy Group, and the Engaged Scholarship Group is coordinated by Janet McCormick.
The faculty workshop, sponsored by MT Engage, is designed for MTSU faculty training and is not open to the public.
Refreshments will be served following the colloquium. Off-campus visitors should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php. A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.
For more information, email Heather Gibbs at Heather.Gibbs@mtsu.edu, or call 615-898-2907.
— Johari Hamilton, Graduate Assistant (Johari.HamiltonGA@mtsu.edu)